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It seems that Ron Darling is leaving the Washington Nationals (major league baseball) broadcasts and moving over to doing broadcasts of the New York Mets.

Darling was nothing short of a disaster in his debut season as a color commentator for the Nationals. He almost singlehandedly ruined the debut season of the Nationals' broadcasts on TV in the D.C. area. With him gone, perhaps Mel Proctor, the play-by-play man, will get a partner more appropriate to his own much higher talent level.

Anyway, original news can be found at the linked article below.





Darling to rejoin Mets as analyst

Saturday, December 31, 2005

By BOB KLAPISCH
STAFF WRITER, NorthJersey.com


While the Mets were insisting they have no deal brewing with the Devil Rays for Danys Baez or a three-way swap with the Red Sox and Orioles that would involve Manny Ramirez and Miguel Tejada, the club nevertheless moved closer to bringing former pitcher Ron Darling into the broadcast booth for 2006.
Darling is finalizing a two-year deal with SportsNet New York, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. He'll join Keith Hernandez doing color commentary, while Gary Cohen, the Mets' long-time radio voice, will make his on-screen debut as the play-by-play man.
After spending eight-plus seasons at Shea, from 1983-1991, the 45-year-old Darling has drifted away from the Mets and most recently worked the Washington Nationals' broadcasts, doing color. The Mets are banking on Darling's friendship and chemistry with Hernandez, forged during their years as teammates, as a key to the duo's success in the booth.



... more information at the original article (most of the rest is Mets team info)


Comments
on Jan 02, 2006
He swings for the fences and smacks a homerun with a forum bump in the Sports/ Baseball area!
on Jan 02, 2006
It takes a while for a lot of color guys to hit their stride. In Minnesota, Bert Blyleven has been doing color for Twins games for a number of years now. He's very popular. He was really rough his first year however. He couldn't stop talking about himself. Fortunately he was able to turn it around. Maybe that's what Darling will do in New York too.
on Jan 02, 2006
It takes a while for a lot of color guys to hit their stride. In Minnesota, Bert Blyleven has been doing color for Twins games for a number of years now. He's very popular. He was really rough his first year however. He couldn't stop talking about himself. Fortunately he was able to turn it around. Maybe that's what Darling will do in New York too.


I don't wish ill upon Darling, but he was just horrible as a color man for the Nationals.

I'm not sure who the Nationals will wind up bringing in to partner with Proctor, or if Nats fans will even be lucky enough to keep Proctor since the ownership situation is still in flux, but just about anyone would be better than Darling was with Proctor.

Given the description of the situation that Darling is moving to, it might be just about perfect for him. I don't personally think he's good second banana type material, but as part of 3 man booth, he might be decent.

Heaven for Nats fan would be Proctor paired back up with John Lowenstein, his old Oriole's broadcast partner. They were a great team, and were quite entertaining. Unfortunately for Nats fan, their broadcasts are controlled by the Orioles as part of MASN (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network), and chances of getting a good TV broadcast team are severely lessened since the Orioles don't want to devalue their own broadcasts (though they have done that many times in the past).
on Jan 02, 2006

You know, you have given me a reason to hate both the Nats and you!

But as I am christian, I will forgive you.

NOT THE NATS!

This means WAR!

on Jan 02, 2006
Now that requires further explanation Guy - were you a Darling fan? A Mets fan?

More info please
on Jan 02, 2006

Now that requires further explanation Guy - were you a Darling fan? A Mets fan?

DUH!

on Jan 02, 2006
Good luck, Darling. Good riddance, darling.
He was always a tool.
on Jan 02, 2006
DUH!


Heh. I've always liked the Mets, even if they are now a rival of the Nats. I (correctly) bet on them in that infamous Buckner ball between the legs world series win back in the 80's, using my e.s.p. to determine that there was no way that the Red Sox would win that series and beat the Mets, who had played an awesome season that year.

As a player, Darling was ok. As a color guy, at least for the Nationals, he was an absolute disaster. He had apparently literally been begging to get a color job anywhere, and when MASN was started on short notice the powers that be gave him a shot. He seemed way out of place, especially as such an easily identifiable Met, and he was just never ready to really offer any real insight for any of the Nats games he called.

Like I said above, I expect he'll be better when teamed with Hernandez in a three man booth. There'll be less pressure, and he'll be more likely to be involved from the side of giving the pitchers perspective, while Hernandez will of course be giving the batters. That is normally a great mix, and should hopefully work well for all involved.

I still pull for the Mets even now, though I gotta keep cheering on my home team, and when they play I gotta hope my team comes out on top. If the Nats can't win it all though, then may as well pull for the Mets. Anybody but those darn Braves!
on Jan 02, 2006

I (correctly) bet on them in that infamous Buckner ball between the legs world series win back in the 80's,

Your ESP. My Faith!  Guess my faith only works sporatically!

on Jan 02, 2006

Anybody but those darn Braves!

Darn?  69?  darn?  We have their AAA team!  Darn?

I will leave this blog PG, and not R!

Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

on Jan 02, 2006
Guy, you're making it tough on me. Sorry, I can't help you with the minor league affiliations. I do wish that the Nationals had better though. Maybe you can convince the Braves to sell that team affiliation down there over to the Nats or Mets
on Jan 03, 2006

Maybe you can convince the Braves to sell that team affiliation down there over to the Nats or Mets

The Mets are just down the road in Norfolk (Tidewater Tides).  I would go for that, but I dont think the mets would as all their farm stadiums are identical to Shea Stadium in the outfield lengths.  The Nats however......The City and the Braves are feuding, so maybe!

on Mar 08, 2006
Proctor was terrible. Darling wanted to bludgeon him every time he did his annoying "Aflac" quack to lead into the trivia question.
on Mar 08, 2006
Proctor was terrible. Darling wanted to bludgeon him every time he did his annoying "Aflac" quack to lead into the trivia question.


You're welcome to that opinion, but I disagree about as much as one possibly could.

Proctor may not be the best in the biz, but he's far from the worst. Darling was, at least for most viewers in the area, pretty much a unanimous choice as the absolute worst.

I've been subjected to bad in the past. Joe Angel for the Oriole's broadcasts was pretty hard to stomach. Ken Levine (nicknamed Ken Le-whine) was pathetic. Several others along the way.

I've also had some of the best - Chuck Thompson, even though in later years he was obviously past his prime, he was still a pleasure to listen to... much like Vin Scully and others in that calibre. John Miller, now ESPN's best baseball voice. A few others too.

Proctor pulled out that stupid "Af-lack" quack because it was part of the live read. It was *never* a problem back in the Proctor and Lowenstein days on the old Home Team Sports, which later evolved into Comcast Sports Net.

In anycase, thanks for stopping by. Come back later and speak up on the new voices of the Nats. Given their current player situation (and the issues with Soriano's continued grumbling about where he'll play) this season looks to be one where Nats fans will have to dredge up the old Met's motto: "wait'l next year!"
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